Tying Your Own Fly Fishing Poppers

Tying your own poppers is a good place to start flytying. Poppers require basic fly tying tools, vise, bobbin and scissors. Materials are readily available and inexpensive. The best part of tying poppers is catching fish on a fly you tied. Poppers are very effective catching a wide variety of panfish, bass and trout.

Tying Cork and Foam Poppers

Use a single edge razor blade to carefully cut a slit in the cork about 1/4 of the way through. Be sure the cork doesn't roll while you are making this cut. Foam bodies have the slit pre cut that may have to be widened to accept the hook.

Put a few drops of Zap-A-Gap into the hook slot. Place the hook in the slit with the eye facing the widest part of the cork or the cupped area of the foam.

Paint the popper body with acrylic paint or color with a permanent marker and set aside to dry.

After the paint has dried, lock the hook into the jaws of your vise.

Begin tying the popper dressing by wrapping thread on the hook just behind the body. No knot is required if you start by over wrapping the thread. After a small layer is built up, remove the short tag end.

Your popper can be dressed using any combination of hackle feathers, rubber legs and Flashabou. Select a feather and cut a few 2" lengths of rubber leg material. Add a piece and wrap, add another piece and wrap until you have dressed the popper.

When all the dressing is added, tie off using half hitch knots. Stretch the rubber legs and cut to length.

Apply doll eyes with Zap-A-Gap or hand paint eyes on both sides of the popper. Use clear epoxy for a hard, shiny sealer if desired.

You're ready to go fishing!

Popper Sizing Chart
Body Size, Style Hook Model Hook Size
1/4" Cork 33903 10
5/16" Cork 33903 8
3/8" Cork 33903 6
1/2" Cork 33903 2
Foam Brim 10,12 33903 10,12
Cupped 1,2,4,8 33903 1,2,4,8
Pencil 1,4 33903 1,4